Langtang, the third most popular trekking region in Nepal, lies to the north of Kathmandu. Langtang offers extremes in topography, climatic conditions and vegetation. The many holy lakes, especially Gosaikund (4,380 m), attract Hindu pilgrims who come to take ritual dips in the cold water. According to legend, Gosaikund was created by Lord Shiva who thrust his trident into the mountain- side which gushed water to form the pool. During the days leading up to the full moon in August, the trails are crowded with devotees making the trek to the holy lake. A great variety of birds like buzzards, hoopoes, cuckoos, nightjars, red-billed magpies and slatyheaded parakeets make the trek interesting.